Professor George Walker moderates roundtable for International Law Association

Wake Forest Law Professor George Walker moderated a roundtable entitled, “Resource Management in Common (Non-Sovereign) Areas: Law of the Sea and Space Law Compared,” at the American branch of the International Law Association’s (ABILA) International Law Weekend and Annual Meeting on Oct. 26, 2012, in New York City.

International Law Weekend is the premier international law event of the fall season.

The theme of this year’s event was “Ideas, Institutions, and Interests – Dynamics of Change in International Law.”

Sponsored by ABILA, the event welcomes new members from academia, the practicing bar, and the diplomatic world. It is held in conjunction with the International Law Student’s Association (ILSA), and is attended by a more than 1,000 practitioners, professors, U.N. diplomats ,businesses leaders, federal and state government officials, NGO leaders, writers, journalists, and interested citizens.

In keeping with this year’s unifying theme, panels sought to explore the mechanisms of change in international law, and focused on key regions undergoing particularly dramatic change, like the Middle East and China. Specific subject matters, like tarrifs and trade, human rights and humanitarian intervention, immigration, labor, public health, sustainable development, and the environment, were also addressed.

Walker’s roundtable discussion this year discussed the legal and economic implications for space exploration and exploitation of the Common Heritage of Mankind concept in the Moon Agreement (1979) and in UNCLOS (1982, 1994). Walker, in collaboration with his three co-panelists, framed the topic via the three themes of ILW this season – Ideas, e.g., the Commons; Institutions, e.g., regimen structure; and Interests, e.g., property rights and public interest.

Walker also serves on the ABILA Executive Committee, and is currently chairing the Law of the Sea Committee. The American Branch has 25 committees, headed by a Chair or Co-Chairs who collaborate with members to set agendas and decided on projects.

Committee projects are diverse, ranging from multi-year academic studies (such as the recent book-length treatment of law of the sea terms and concepts undertaken by the Branch’s Law of the Sea Committee), to shorter academic analyses, to advocacy work (such as amicus briefs or congressional testimony about treaties or legislation).

At the law school,  Walker remains one of the school’s most accomplished scholars and public servants. Walker is the Dean’s Research Professor of Admiralty and International Law at the Law School. He has played a key role in international, national, and state legislative and rule drafting projects, and has served as a North Carolina Bar Association vice president and on many bar and legal education committees.